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Candle Making Terms

Common Candle Making Terms

Candle making is full of terms and words unique to the craft. As a newcomer (or even a veteran) it can be tough to navigate all the terminology associated to making candles.

To help navigate all these different terms we have created a comprehensive list of common candle making terms that you will likely come across if you haven’t already.

We have categorised these into 3 areas:

Common terms to describe candle properties

Scent throw – Scent throw describes the ability of the candle to diffuse the scent that is fused with the wax.

Hot throw/Cold throw - Hot throw refers to this scent strength when the candle is lit. Cold throw refers to the strength of the fragrance when the candle is unlit.

Melt pool – This refers to the layer of melted wax that forms when the candle is burned in order to throw the scent.

Burn Cycle – This refers to the act of burning the candle for three hours then blowing it out to let the wax cool. This is the recommended way to use candles as the melted wax will stay melted and continue to distribute the fragrance.

Burn Time – Refers to the number of hours that a candle will last before it is finished.

Common Terms for Candle Making issues

Frosting/blooming – This refers to when white flecks or crystals form in the wax when the candle is set.

Poor adhesion/ wet spots/ air bubbles – This refers to the instance when wax cools too quickly creating air pockets on the side of the container creating the illusion of wet spots.

Sink holes/shrinkage/cracking – These terms describe when the wax has cooled and shrinks unevenly, creating cracks through the candle as well as an uneven surface at the top of the candle. For more information on how to fix this issue refer to our candle making problems and solutions guide.

Sweating/curdling/ leaching – This refers to a candle that appears to have fragrance residue seeping out of the candle giving the appearance that the candle is sweating. In extreme cases the candle wax can appear to curdle as it cannot completely set. For more information on how to fix this issue refer to our candle making problems and solutions guide .

Mushrooming/ carbon build up – This term describes the black build-up of carbon that occurs at the tip of the wick when it burns incorrectly. This usually occurs when candles are not wicked correctly or in some cases are due to the wax additive or fragrance used in the candle. More information on how to fix this issue can be found at our candle making problems and solutions guide .

Tunneling - Tunneling refers to the instance when wax remains un-melted on the sides of the container as the candle burns creating a narrow corridor in the candle. This usually occurs when the wick used in the candle is too small and cannot adequately melt the wax all the way up until to the sides of the container. For additional information on how to correct this issue, read through our candle making problems and solutions guide.

Common Terms Used in Candle Making Process

Fragrance Load – This is in reference to the amount of fragrance used when making the soy candle. Maximum fragrance load refers to the maximum amount of fragrance a candle can hold with-out sweating or curdling.

Melt point – Melt point refers to the temperature at which the wax turns from a solid to a liquid.

Wick Stickums – Wick stickums refers to the double sided sticky tabs that are used to hold wicks in place on the bottom of the container when the candle is poured. You can buy wick stickums from our website.

Double wicking – Refers to when two wicks are used in a candle in order to generate a large enough melt pool in the candle. This usually occurs in larger containers or irregular shaped candles.

Wick up/wick down – This refers to the use of a larger or smaller wick in a candle in order to find the best wick.

Flash point – This refers to the temperature when the fragrance evaporates, fragrance should be added to soy wax below its flash point in order to avoid this evaporation as it will diminish the scent of the final candle. For more information on adding fragrance you can read through our candle making guide .

For more information you can read through our comprehensive candle making guides as well as browse our shop.

For easy reference we have created a top 10 candle making terms info-graphic that you can pin on your Pinterest page.

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